760
Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
1400+ courses starting
in February 2017
Peruse my collection of 259
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:

VIEW ARCHIVE


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Alexander the Great, the Terrible, or the Insignificant
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
alcoholic, sacrifices, Stalin, gods, trophy, Hoplite, ignore, Cortes, Zeus, philosopher, orthodoxy, Pella, Messianic, species, warriors, land, resolved, flattering, chaotically, Insignificant, wars
throughout history, Alexander the Great has been seen as a hero, or even more than a hero
as a Platonic                        king (Willian Tarn)
or even a                    figure like Jesus, sent on a mission to be the reconciler of the world
since the mid 20th century, however, a far less                      portrait of Alexander has been drawn
an unstable                    given to wine-fueled rages and violence
some say that he had no lasting effects on the ancient world or that if he had any, they can be compared to that of              and the Conquistadors had on the Aztecs from 1519 to 1522
while the popular view of Alexander remains a favorable one, a new scholarly                    about him has emerged
some think he should be rechristened Alexander the Terrible or Alexander the                           
two reasons for this new orthodoxy
consciously reconstructing a more accurate and less mythological picture of who he was
these scholars are writing in the long, dark shadows cast by ruthless 20th century rulers such as Hitler and             
why have          played so much of a role in history?
our evidence of recorded human activity goes back to 3,000 BCE and we find accounts of warfare in all kinds of different forms through history
you could              it but then you really wouldn't be doing your job as an historian
why it's the case could be a philosophical or scientific question
the fact that every single society that we know about since written history has practiced some form of warfare would suggest that this is more than just a cultural phenomenon, that it has to do with our               , actually
more study could be devoted to this
Alexander was very good at the practice of war, if also morally condemned
Alexander believed that the          play favorites
he clearly thought that the gods favored him to win victories
before every battle he would give                      to a group of deities
afterwards he would make sacrifices thanking them for giving him victory
Greeks believed that certain gods were helpful in warfare
Athena
Artemis
Zeus
believed the gods were helpful to some people and not so helpful to others
*** they didn't believe that there was a god or gods that loved and favored us equally, they strongly believed that individuals were favored by individual gods or groups of them
*** Alexander thought that he had been chosen by specific gods, particularly by         , for successes that were unprecedented
               warfare
one of the most striking things about it was its ritualistic element
it usually didn't start out                        the way much combat in world history does
a typical Hoplite battle started out with two different sides making sacrifices and then marching out in order into an open field to the sound of music being played, then stopping, and then rushing across the field and clashing, someone winning, and someone losing
then after the battle, the winning side going out onto the battlefield and literally setting up a              that said, we won here today
this shows a motivation for a lot of warfare in ancient Greece, which was to take ahold of          that was so essential to their economies
Alexander's parents
brought to            in Macedon great teachers to educate th 13 year old Alexander, including Aristotle
politics
eristics
disputation
what does Alexander have to teach us?
he's such a large, complex figure, but one aspect that he can help us understand is that there aren't easy answers to interpretations of complex characters or complex events
one of the great fascinations of Alexander is that he can't be easily                 , he can't be simplified,
he will be on the list of anyone's top two or three                  in history
as long as human beings are going to be involved in warfare, then they will come back to Alexander to try to learn about someone who probably was, overall, the most successful warrior in history
pronunciation
Achaemenid
ah-KEE-mah-nid, empire

Vocabulary:

eristic, n. a type of argumentation style which has the aim to win an argument or engage in a conflict for the sole purpose of defeating the other side, as opposed to the seeking of conflict resolution or discovering a true or probable answer to any specific question or topic  "Bryson of Heraclea introduced eristic dialectic after Euclides."
hoplite, n. a citizen-soldier of Ancient Greek city-states who was primarily armed with spears and shields, their main tactic being the phalanx formation, and were primarily free citizens, e.g. propertied farmers and artisans who were able to afford the bronze armor suit and weapons  "The hoplite phalanx of the Archaic and Classical periods in Greece (ca. 750–350 BC) was a formation in which the hoplites would line up in ranks in close order. The hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields. The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy, making frontal assaults against it very difficult."

People:

Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
Greek king of the ancient kingdom of Macedon who by the age of thirty created one of the largest empires of the ancient world
  • full name: Alexander III of Macedon
  • 334 BC: invaded the Achaemenid [ah-KEE-mah-nid] Empire (550-330BC)
  • he was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders

Flashcards:

three gods Greeks found helpful in warfare
Athena, Artemis, Zeus

Ideas and Concepts:

Via this morning's Alexander the Great class: "Historians should neither be cheerleaders for history's victors, nor advocates for the vanquished. The essential job of a historian is to describe and account for change over time and tell the truth about it. As your professor for this class, I'm here to do that for you. It will then be up to you to decide if Alexander was great, terrible, or insignificant, why, and to what degree."
Alexander the Great in a Nutshell via this morning's class: "Being such a large, complex figure, one aspect that Alexander the Great can help us understand is that there aren't easy answers to interpretations of complex characters or complex events. One of the great fascinations of Alexander is that he can't be easily resolved or simplified. As long as people are interested in the past and particularly in military history, Alexander the Great will be on the list of anyone's top two or three warriors of all time. And as long as human beings are going to be involved in warfare, then they will come back to Alexander to try to learn about someone who probably was, overall, the most successful warrior in history."
Alexander the Great, the Terrible, or the Insignificant
Why Study Alexander the Great?
The Importance of the Battle of Thermopylae
The Peloponnesian War and Internal Greek Struggles
Early Macedon
The Nature of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon's Military Reforms
Alexander's Cavalry Units
Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC)